Editorial: Disbelief at Dublin killings
THE violent deaths of a teenager and her little brother and sister in their home in Dublin is a tragedy that simply defies comprehension.
As parents send their children out to meet with friends again for the first full week a new school year, a family is instead preparing for funerals after three young lives were extinguished in the most shocking manner.
Lisa Cash (18) and eight-year-old twins Christy and Chelsea Cawley were attacked and stabbed in a house in Tallaght in the early hours of Sunday.
Their 14-year-old brother, who jumped from a window to desperately seek help, also suffered serious injuries.
The young twins were being minded by their older sister at the time of the devastating attack.
Lisa was by all accounts a highly-regarded young woman who was a diligent pupil and source of strength for fellow students at St Aidan's Community School.
Teachers and school friends will now have to show the same support for each other as they try to come to terms with empty seats in classrooms in the days and weeks ahead.
For the children's mother, who was not in the house at the time, and other relatives and friends of the victims – some of whom witnessed the violent scenes – the pain they are now suffering is unimaginable.
It will have been a traumatic experience for emergency services, with Garda Commissioner Drew Harris paying tribute to the fortitude and professionalism of his officers yesterday.
And for the people of Tallaght, and indeed across Dublin and this island, there is simply a sense of numbness that young lives could be brutally ended in a place where they should be safe.
Alarmingly, this is only the latest high-profile multiple killing of its kind in recent years.
Each case will have had its own circumstances but what they have in common is that they have destroyed families and left entire communities in grief.
No-one can imagine such violence and heartbreak visiting their own doorstep and it must be hoped that any risk factors or warning signs can be identified to help prevent similar tragedies in future.